Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Long-Term Toxicity of GM Maize

By Compiled by AusSMC

French research published in Food and Chemical Toxicology suggests that rats fed a diet containing a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize died more frequently and earlier than control groups. The study also suggests that females developed mammary tumours more often than and before controls.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

“The current paper is far from convincing from a toxicological perspective. The study was based on 10 rats of each sex per treated group, and there was no consistency to any dose–response relationship, and much variability between the outcomes in the various groups. It was difficult to determine whether any effects on health or survival (if really present) were attributable to the GM maize, to the Roundup herbicide (glyphosate) or to neither. While the results were analysed using an unusual statistical technique, I felt that the authors substantially over-interpreted the findings.”

Professor Brian Priestly is Director of the Australian Centre for Human Health Risk Assessment at Monash University. He currently sit on the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee, and his comments do not represent the views of the Gene Technology regulator. He is also a Science Fellow of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, but is not a spokesperson for FSANZ on these issues.


“Contrary to the claims in the media releases, this is NOT the first long-term safety study into either Roundup or GM. There are more than 100 feeding studies on GM. Further, the European Commission, based on their own research on a wide range of theoretical health and environmental risks, at a cost of more than €300 million, found in 2010 that: “The main conclusion to be...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.